Systemic Therapy for Psoriasis

Melvin Lee, MD; Robert E. Kalb, MD


Dermatology Nursing. 2008;20(2):105-111. 

In This Article

Alefacept (Amevive®)

Alefacept is a fusion protein combining the binding portion of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-3 with the Fc portion of IgG. It inhibits T-cell activation and induces T-cell apoptosis. Alefacept often is used with other therapies such as methotrexate or phototherapy (Koo, Bagel, Sweetser, & Ticho, 2006; Ortonne, Khemis, Koo, & Choi, 2005; Scheinfeld, 2005). Alefacept offers a potential advantage in that patients who respond well often will maintain that response off therapy for a period of many months (Gordon & Langley, 2003).

Alefacept is usually given as a weekly intramuscular dose of 15 mg in courses of 12 weeks. Courses may be repeated after a rest period of 12 weeks (Menter et al., 2006). CD4 counts are monitored throughout therapy with alefacept. More recent suggested schedules reveal less-frequent monitoring is required.

Patients on alefacept may develop injection site reactions. Serious adverse events include malignancy and infection.


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